A COCKERMOUTH pensioner who tragically lost his wife and son to pancreatic cancer is raising funds for research.

Raymond Wood, 82, will walk a half marathon (13.1 miles), around Derwentwater, this weekend in memory of his loved ones.

His wife, Pam, died 10 years ago aged 71, a few months before their golden wedding anniversary.

Fourteen months later he lost his only child, son Stephen, 49, to the same disease.

"It's one of the hardest cancers to find and by the time people do it can be too late," said Raymond.

"It's the least talked about but one of the most deadly."

He was inspired to do the walk by Lydia Casson, a practice nurse at Castlegate and Derwent Surgery, who recently did her second Great North Run. She raised £880 for the Children's Rainbow Trust, in memory of her friend's granddaughter, Faith Lawson.

Lydia knew Pam and Raymond through her work and supported him following his wife's death. They have stayed in touch ever since.

She is one of a team of people who Raymond is indebted to. He will be joined on the walk by Lydia, and Richard and Judith Johnston, of Lorton, who he met through King's Church, in Cockermouth.

"They have all supported me since I lost Pam. Richard and Judith helped me sort my garden out, Pam made a lovely garden," said Raymond.

"I started going to King's Church after Pam died. I call it the Clap Happy Club and that's where I met them.

"It's been a life changer. I made a lot of friends."

Raymond, who has two grandchildren, enjoys walking.

"I usually walk two or three miles but I started going further six months ago. I wanted to do something in memory of Pam and Stephen and have been thinking of this for a while but Covid delayed everything.

"I have decided to complete a half marathon in their memory. I will aim to complete the half marathon, in under four hours," he said.

"Pancreatic cancer has the lowest survival rate of all cancers. Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund is the national charity dedicated solely to defeating pancreatic cancer through research."

Raymond also likes helping out in the community.

Every week he is at the Bridge Cafe, which was set up by King's Church following the 2015 floods, serving refreshments and washing up.

He also helps at King's Church cafe on Sundays.

To sponsor him, go to: Go Fund Me.